The Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said the gas agreement between the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and Italy’s Eni was signed in 2008 and his Government of National Unity (GNU) has only activated it after all these years.

The Libyan PM added on Wednesday in a cabinet meeting in Al-Jamail town that both sides of the agreement (Libya and Italy) had been affected by the delay and the decision to activate it was made after “marathonic negotiations”.

Dbeibah also said that Libya is in need now more than ever for activating gas agreements and developing the sector because formal studies had shown that the delay in implementing the agreement led to the shortage of gas production in Libya.

He indicated that if the gas deal was not implemented, Libya could turn into an importer rather than an exporter country by 2027. This deal will bring Libya 8 billion dollars, something the country hasn’t seen in 25 years.

The NOC and Eni signed on January 28 a gas exploration and development agreement worth 8 billion dollars, which sparked sharp criticism, especially from the Ministry of Oil of the GNU that said the agreement was made in a manner that completely violates the legislation stipulated in oil and NOC laws.